This weekend is full on party as we are celebrating my son turning two. Today my family and the godmothers were invited and tomorrow the house will be full of toddlers. Fun and exhausting. But I’m not sure which I enjoy more: the party or the preparations.
Before we had kids, we decided, that we want to give them time and respect for gifts. We talked about this when we one Boxing Day encountered a maybe 7 yo girl, a “friend of a friend”, and I asked her what she got for Christmas. She answered “a slide, camera, laptop…” and then she wasn’t too sure as she hadn’t opened them all yet. Not even all gifts from the previous Christmas.
So we decided that a part of our gift will always be time. Now when our kids are small, birthdays offer a good excuse for doing crafts together: we choose a theme and make decorations together. I and hubby make part of them after kids bedtime but I see that as giving them time too. The decorations may not always look as fancy as bought ones, but the joy of doing something together, the joy of creating something unique to our kids and their joy of finding everything in place is worth the effort.
Anyway, toddlers are easily pleased, the first thing we did in the early hours of the morning was tin foil airplanes, which they happily played with until we skyped one set of grandparents and got to open the first wrapped gifts. When our kids grow older tin foil and paper crafts will most likely not be satisfying, but then we’ll just have to find other ways to have fun together.
However, this time the theme was ‘airplanes’ as the birthday boy is a little Dusty fan. This is some of the decorations we made:
I am no chef but I like the theme to be visible on the table too – and I like our kiddos getting excited over the little details. Today we had a Dusty table cloth, napkins folded as airplanes, stars and a few runways and planes out of food. Tomorrow we’ll have a sky with stars, clods and crafted airplanes for each kid.
Btw, my husband made the cake!
Other easy themes we’ve thrown a birthday party to are aquarium (a paddle pool with fish etc on the yard, a huge poster we drew together, shells on the table, whale cake…), cars and traffic (e.g. we drew huge “traffic mats” to cover the floor, built lego houses on it, car and bus posters with stickers on the walls…) and princesses (napkin rings out of bead bracelets, crowns…).
Do you have principles or traditions that you cherish, when it comes to birthdays or giving gifts?